Archive for the ‘Contests’ Category

Judging Workshop

New Rules for Judges

Toastmasters International has released new contest judging rules commencing January 2011.

Ian Pickens conducted a workshop on January 29, 2011 to discuss the new rules and train judges who can help at contest level as early as possible.  Ian does believe it is most ideal to conduct frequent training sessions at club level.  However as a first step he facilitated this workshop.

The opening review

The workshop commenced with a review of the judges form, looking at Content, Delivery, Language and how this criteria, affects a judge. The responsibilities, qualities, accountability and barriers, were the focus of this session, followed by analysing the new rules in detail.

Key changes

Rule 3B deals with the District options to allow two contestants from each club etc progressing to the next level something for District 17 to consider. It is not be a new rule but becomes relevant in D17.

Rule 5A deals with the specified number of judges and officials required at contests and rule 5B with judges eligibility. These rules will pose the greatest challenge to clubs and areas to comply with. Add the changes to the role of the chief judge, and tie break judges (Rule 5F) we have a need to ensure we have a ready pool of volunteers to judge.

Rule 5N confirms that 1st and 2nd place are announced at all contests, also for contests with 5 or more a third place will be announced. The words (if wanted) have been removed from previous years rule books.
Timing of speeches and disqualifications have not been changed and this rounds out the 7 contest rules.]

Check Lists

The separate Contest details and contest check list which were previously a separate document have been included into this manual and provides comprehensive check lists and procedures to be followed. I have found the check lists already being used from various D73 websites remain very suitable and require very little change.

A practice run

The workshop concluded with a practice run through, judging two speeches from the Creswick convention. This allowed John Palmer to see on the big screen, his performance on the District stage. It was the first time he had seen the video.

One big question arose “does the chief Judge have to judge or are they an advisor and co-ordinator?”. I am sure the answer is subject to debate but the general feel is the they do.

These manuals (item 1171) are available from Toastmaster International or from each President who has been delivered copies.

I urge leaders, contestants, and judges to read the rules, and ensure all contest chairs and chief judges are familiar with the rules of the contest prior to the club event.

Thanks to Ian Pickens for this report and the photo.

Contests – International and Evaluation

Lodge your International and Evaluation Contest dates on the Calendar

Club, Area and Division Contests will be held in the next three months, leading up to the District Contests at Perth in May.

There is always a scramble to find enough Judges for the Area Contests from outside the particular Area, and often for the Division Contests as well.  It is a great help to all concerned to have accurate information about the dates of other Area and Division finals.

Email me your Contest Date

As soon as you have consulted with your Clubs for Area finals or Area Governors for Division finals, send me the details so I can enter them on the Calendar.  Please send me these details:

    Title (like Area W16, or Western Division)
    Location (like Bullcreek Community Centre, Crn Hassell & Leichhardt Sts)
    Start time
    End time

Thank you to Western Division Governor Robyn Richards for her Division and Area Contest details and to P30 Area Governor Lynne Brighton for her Contest details.

Club Contest details are not displayed

Sorry about that. There isn’t enough space to display the 56 Clubs as well as our 21 Areas and 3 Divisions.

Area and Division Governors – please send me your Contest details in the very near future.  Best is to email them to David – – or you can phone me.

David Nicholas DTM
WA Webmaster
0401 011 212

W21 Area Contest

Victoria Quay hosted the W21 Contests

On Wednesday, October 20, 2010 Victoria Quay hosted the Area W21 Humorous and Table Topics Contests. There were contestants from Victoria Quay, Gateway and CSBP Kwinana.

Peter Law
Peter Law

Peter Law won both contests

The Victoria Quay President, Peter Law, won both Contests. He carried off the Humorous with his “Midlife Crisis – Leave it to the Professionals” speech. The Table Topics subject was “The most memorable dinner party”. He recounted a military party with the Governor and some unexpected under the table activities.

The supper

Some people say that the contest detail which sticks in peoples memories is the supper. On that test, this was a memorable contest. Heljo Cameron and partner Alan superintended the arrangements. Members brought along a plate – and the food on them was plentiful, tasty and attractive looking.

The contest officials

Area W21 Governor Tim McNamara was the Toastmaster. He was genial, relaxed and efficient. His careful planning meant that the whole contest flowed without a hitch.

Mark Williamson
Mark Williamson

Heljo Cameron
Heljo Cameron

Mark Williamson and Heljo Cameron were the Contest Chairs. They were faultless in their accurate, mistake free conduct.

Judith Ingle and Greg Madden kept time scrupulously.

Glenis Nicholas and Andrew Bond were tally counters. I’m sure they were fair, supervised by Chief Judge Sandra Morton from Cannington Communicators.

Paul Reilly and Neville Simmons were the Usher – yes, it was a double act, and it worked well.

The Judges

The Judges
Area Governor Tim McNamara with the Judges

Sandra Morton was chief judge. She was assisted by Peter McDonnell, the W10 Area Governor from Stirling Toastmasters and a judge from each of the competing clubs – Victoria Quay’s Alan Smith, Martin Lindsay from CSBP Kwinana, and Sharon Wayland from Gateway.

Where to from now?

Peter will represent Area W21 in the Western Division final to be held on Saturday afternoon, November 6.

David Nicholas

Story by David Nicholas DTM

Western Division Contest Results

Victoria Quay took the honours

Victoria Quay from W21 took on the task of organising the Western Division first round of Contests.  The Club hosted the event at its regular venue at the Fremantle Bowling Club in Ellen Street.  It could have looked like an arranged result when the two winners came from the host club, but all the Judges were from outside the Division, including Chief Judge Martin Lindsay, P30 Area Governor, and member of Morning Star in Perth Division.

The Humorous Speech Contest

Neville Simmons
Neville Simmons
Humorous Contest Winner

Division Governor David Nicholas was the Contest Chairman. His photo is tucked away at the end of the story.

There were 4 contestants, one from each of our 4 Areas.

Peta Anderson, from Successful Club and W16 Area, spoke about “Little Demons”

Diana Veitch, from Fremantle Gourmet and W28 Area, spoke about “The Captain”

Robert Price, from Bunbury and W29 Area, spoke about “Noble Gesture”.

Neville Simmons, from Victoria Quay and W21 Area, spoke about “The Vindictive Cat”. Neville confessed that he is a salesman – but fortunately he is the trustworthy one. He took us with him on a mission to sell a bathroom renovation in a leafy seaside suburb. Trust is the key to a successful sale he told us.  He thought he had the sale in the bag after seeing a set of cat photos on the way into the house and then establishing a kind of bond with the cat in the bathroom. But the vindictive cat had other ideas.  Did Neville really tread on the cat’s tail?  The cat’s yowl killed the deal and as he left Neville realised that the cat had turned out to be much more resourceful and intelligent than he could ever be.

Robin Richards
Robyn Richards
Table Topics Contest Chair

The Table Topics Contest

W16 Area Governor Robin Richards was the Contest Chair. Her Table Topics subject was: With summer approaching, tell us what you look forward to most at this time of the year.

Again, there were 4 contestants, one from each of our 4 Areas.

Tania Park, from Jetty and W29 Area, doesn’t look forward to summer because of the heat. She will skip from tree to tree, hugging the shade, as she shops in Busselton.

Diana Veitch, from Canning Vale and W16 Area, looks forward to glorious beaches in Esperance, so far away via the 4 wheel drive, that she can revert to childhood experiences in Rhodesia and swim without any clothes.

Vicky Post, from Powertalk and W28 Area, looks forward to sunshine and heat as she remembers what it is like at this time of the year where she was born in Denmark.

Mark Hamilton
Mark Hamilton
Table Topics Contest Winner

Mark Hamilton, from Victoria Quay and W21 Area, invited us to join him in scuba diving this summer in a great spot off Rockingham. He took us through his mid-life crisis in Queensland in the army to a belated decision to have some fun and learn a new skill when he came to Perth. $4,500 later he was being instructed in underwater computing skills to record each dive so it could be uploaded onto the net when he came back! Really! There didn’t seem to be much time left over for the diving. He promised that if we joined him there would be no recordings.

In his brief acceptance speech, Mark said how much he enjoyed the opportunities he had enjoyed by joining Toastmasters, and particularly at his club, Victoria Quay. Now that the pressure of the Contest was over, he intended to encourage others to take part through his role as the Vice President Education.

The Judges

P30 Area Governor, Martin Lindsay, from Morning Star in Perth Division was Chief Judge.
He was supported by Gwen Gibbons from Sandgropers in Perth Division, by Bernice Takla from Durack in Innercity Division, Pat Wallace-Bell from Ngarlundhu Wankga in Perth Division, by June Lyndhurst in Sandgropers and by Peter McDonnell from Stirling in Perth Division.

Martin Lindsay
Martin Lindsay
Chief Judge

The Judgesy
Our Judges – Gwen, Bernice, Martin, Pat, June and Peter













District Report

Mark Richards
Mark Richards
Lt Governor Marketing

Mark Richards, the Lt Governor Marketing, is the third ranking officer in District 73. Western Division is one of 10 Divisions in District 73 which currently covers clubs in WA, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.  Here is his report.

Membership in the District is moving along at great knots with 592 new members across the District already, over 100 in front of last year.  Innercity has 62, Perth 56 and Western 55 new members.  There were 12 clubs in the District achieving the Smedly Award this year with 3 of those clubs from Western, those being Canning Vale, Fremantle Gourmet and Mandjar.  2 new clubs have formed this year, both in Melbourne.  Many new clubs are forming in the West with demo meetings at CSBP (now chartering), Mundaring, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Rockingham, Highgate and Applecross.  There have been 160 education awards given so far, with 56 of them from Western Division, which is 36% of the total.  this includes 4 of the 9 DTMs so far this year.

Don’t forget the District Council meeting on the 21st, which includes 2 workshops with Cliff Boer.  Well done Western Division for holding such a wonderful contest.

We had two Toastmasters

Gerry Prewett
Gerry Prewett
W28 Area Governor

Mark Richards
Michael Foster
W29 Area Governor

Gerry Prewett, W28 Area Governor, was Toastmaster for the Humorous Contest.

Michael Foster, W29 Area Governor, was Toastmaster for the Table Topics Contest








And there were many other important people who served us well

Peter Law
Peter Law
W21 Area Governor

Peter Law, the W21 Area Governor, had many roles. He was Sergeant at Arms, responsible for setting up the hall, and for supervising cleaning up afterwards. Here you see him retrieving part of a Contest Aid that didn’t want to leave at the end. As well he was the Usher for the Table Topics Contest.

Karen Patterson from Victoria Quay and John Palmer from Canning Vale were the Tally Counters.

Sandra Morton from Cannington Communicators and Phyll Lightbody from Canning Vale were the Timers.

They weren’t on the program but Gail Jenkins and Karen Patterson from Victoria Quay handled the Afternoon Tea, which was a great success.

Canning Vale Club conducted a raffle. It was a noisy, happy affair just before the end of the meeting. Everybody seemed to win a prize including the Division Governor who hadn’t had time to buy a ticket!





Thanks to the audience who encouraged the contestants so energetically.

David Nicholas
David Nicholas DTM
Western Division Governor

It wouldn’t be much of a contest without an audience. It was a great audience and a great contest.

Neville and Mark will represent Western Division at Creswick in Victoria in May, 2010. After their wonderful performances in such strong fields we know they will do very well.

And there will be two more Western Division representatives over there after the Evaluation and International Contests in March next year.

See you at the District Convention.

P10 Contests

Big Attendance on October 19, 2009

39 Toastmasters attended the P10 Contests on October 19.

The P10 Clubs

  • Northern Lights
  • Sandgropers
  • Stirling
  • Talkabout

Sandgropers Club hosted the Contests at their regular venue at the North Beach Bowling Club.

  • Gwen Gibbons from Sandgropers organised the event.
  • Innercity Governor Gawain Simpson was Contest Chair.
  • Perth Division Governor Judith Allen was Chief Judge. The other Judges were Peter McDonnell, the P10 Area Governor, Louise Hancock from Northern Lights, and Glenis and David Nicholas from Victoria Quay.

The results

Calvin Wang
& Judith Allen

Kevin Forward
Kevin Forward

The Humorous Contest

1st was Calvin Wang
2nd was Allan Murray

Table Topics

1st was Kevin Forward
2nd was Andrew Hadfield

The Division Final

Calvin and Kevin will represent P10 at the Division final being held on Saturday, November 14. Division Governor Judith Allen will be publicising details for the final in the near future.

David Nicholas
David Nicholas DTM
9457 6468

Warning! International contestants beware

How you dress may be the deciding factor in WA contests

I have listened with amazement at various Area Contests in recent times as Chief Judges have singled out formal dress as one of or even the most important factor for International Contestants. Where does this approach come from? It certainly isn’t from the Judging Criteria published by Toastmasters International. I’ve published the full text below. You will see that Content is allocated 50%, Delivery 30% and Language 20%. The only reference to a speaker’s appearance is in the Delivery section, and that is in one sentence of three sentences in one section of three sections. This is that sentence.

The speaker’s appearance should reinforce the speech, whether profound, sad, humorous, instructional.
There is no actual reference to a contestant’s clothing, and certainly no instruction to take into account whether it meets the judge’s idea (or prejudice) of what appropriate clothing would be. There is simply nothing in the guidelines to support a widespread belief among certain very experienced judges that dressing formally is the most important, or a very important issue, or even any kind of relevant issue in arriving at a proper judgment in assessing contestants.

Check it for yourself. Look at the the full guidelines. In particular read the Delivery section. Of course appearance is important – it should reinforce the speech, and that reinforcement should be relevant to the style of the speech. Appearance is important, but so are many other factors. It is one of many and its relative importance should be assessed in terms of the whole Judging Criteria.

But look out!

If you are an International contestant at Area or Division level in WA, think carefully about this advice. There will be judges in your panel who pay little or no attention to the Toastmasters International Criteria. So dress very carefully, and very formally.

Oh, and put a bit of effort into the speech itself – things like the content, your body language, your voice, your manner and your language. Hopefully it may influence the result.

Have your say on this important subject

You may or may not agree with what I have written above. Leave a comment – go to the end of the file and put in your opinion. This will help mould opinion and judging action in WA.


Content (50%)

SPEECH DEVELOPMENT is the way the speaker puts ideas together so the audience can understand them. The speech is structured around a purpose, and the structure must include an opening, body and conclusion. A good speech immediately engages the audience’s attention and then moves forward to a significant conclusion. This development of the speech structure is supported by relevant examples and illustrations, facts and figures, delivered with such smoothness that they blend into the framework of the speech to present the audience with a unified whole.

EFFECTIVENESS is measured in part by the audience’s reception of the speech, but a large part is your subjective judgment of how the speech came across. You should ask yourself such questions as “Was I able to determine the speaker’s purpose?” “Did the speech relate directly to that purpose?” “Was the audience’s interest held by the speaker?” “Was this speech subject appropriate for this particular audience?”

SPEECH VALUE justifies the act of speaking. The speaker has a responsibility to say something meaningful and original to the audience. The listeners should feel the speaker has made a contribution to their thinking. The ideas should be important ones, although this does not preclude a humorous presentation of them.

Delivery (30%)

PHYSICAL presentation of a speech carries part of the responsibility for effective communication. The speaker’s appearance should reinforce the speech, whether profound, sad, humorous, instructional.  Body language should support points through gestures, expressions and body positioning.

VOICE is the sound that carries the message. It should be flexible, moving from one pitch level to another for emphasis, and should have a variety of rate and volume. A good voice can be clearly heard and the words easily understood.

MANNER is the indirect revelation of the speaker’s real self as the speech is delivered. The speaker should speak with enthusiasm and assurance, showing interest in the audience and confidence in their reactions.

Language (20%)

APPROPRIATENESS of language refers to the choice of words that relate to the speech purpose and to the particular audience hearing the speech. Language should promote clear understanding of thoughts, and should fit the occasion precisely.

CORRECTNESS of language ensures that attention will be directed toward what the speaker says, not how it is said. Proper use of grammar and correct pronunciation will show that the speaker is the master of the words being used.

Have your say.  Leave a comment.

David Nicholas

David Nicholas DTM